Town Square

Post a New Topic

Annual survey says city 'less excellent' in 2007

Original post made on Jan 11, 2008

Fewer Palo Altans rated city government services "excellent" in 2007, although more Palo Altans considered municipal government "good," according to an annual survey conducted by the city auditor's office.

This story contains 492 words.

If you are a paid subscriber, check to make sure you have logged in. Otherwise our system cannot recognize you as having full free access to our site.

If you are a paid print subscriber and haven't yet set up an online account, click here to get your online account activated.

Comments (11)

Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 11, 2008 at 5:57 pm

I thought this was published a few months ago.

However, we received a survey during the summer. It was to be filled in by the adult with the most previous birthday which was my husband. His excellent response was due to the fact that it is me who deals with utility problems, visits the library (to pick up his stuff as well as mine), signs the kids up for classes and camps, spends more time at parks because of kids' sports, etc, etc,. If I had been the most recent birthday, many of these things would have scored much lower.

Like this comment
Posted by Pat
a resident of Downtown North
on Jan 11, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Dear Another PA Neighborhood Resident,

I'm not sure that your one survey would have caused the results to be in your words, "much lower." My we think highly of ourselves don't we. It does appear that in the survey of your husband's responsibilities at home however, he failed miserably.

Like this comment
Posted by Love my hubby
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Jan 11, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Pat, how would you know. Maybe her husband works 16 hours a day to pay the mortgage and expenses for 5 kids. My, we're quick to judge, aren't we?

Like this comment
Posted by Ignore-the-Survey-Results
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2008 at 6:37 am

> It was to be filled in by the adult with the most
> previous birthday which was my husband

This is another example of how badly designed this survey is. If it turned out that the "oldest" person in the home more often than not turned out to be the husband, and the wife turned out to be the one that paid the bills (or dealt with the details of running the home), then the person with the least contact with the city government be asked to complete the survey would be the less qualified to answer these questions than the wife.

Having both husband and wife participate would be a better choice, or perhaps the person who feels that they best understand the issues associated with service levels of the city government being evaluated.

This is not a good survey and its results should be taken with a grain of salt (at best).

Like this comment
Posted by Fireman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 12, 2008 at 7:46 am

Just one more web site type job. Just one more Willy-Nilly flag issue, Just one more 3 week time out for Emily, Just one more drop of water in the storm drains that do not work.{The ones you paid to fix} Just on more Enron. Just one more cover up that the Citizens of Palo Alto must accept. Etc,etc,etc.... Just one more City manager to make rich and house at the Citizens loss of services...etc,etc

Like this comment
Posted by terryg
a resident of Evergreen Park
on Jan 15, 2008 at 8:15 am

why do you think it went to the "oldest"? most recent is not the "oldest" - it's whoever had the last birthday. If it was an August survey and you have a March bday and your spouse has a July bday, the July bday fills it out
you're sounding a little paranoid

Like this comment
Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on Jan 15, 2008 at 12:16 pm

Worth noting:
Only 437 people responded to the survey, which is about 0.73% of our population (60,000).

86% of respondents rate their city good or excellent, which is 376 people.

Like this comment
Posted by Mike
a resident of College Terrace
on Jan 15, 2008 at 12:20 pm

pat, perhaps you can manage to discover a new polling paradigm, where everyone gets polled at once. It might be worth a few bucks. Until then, maybe you can learn to live with what polls say.

My informal poll says that you never agree with any poll, so why do you bother reading them?

Like this comment
Posted by Ignore-the-Survey-Results
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jan 15, 2008 at 3:10 pm

> paranoid ..

Being paranoid speaks to an unwarranted fear of harm to one's self. As such, this word is inappropriate in the context of a discussion about the poor design of a resident survey on the impression of local government/services quality.

Like this comment
Posted by Fireman
a resident of another community
on Jan 15, 2008 at 4:08 pm

Maybe some leaders might be getting a little "PARANOID" That one day someone{citizens} might care enough to do something about what has been going on for too many years...

.73% might be good for you Mike... as long as it is your .73%???

Like this comment
Posted by Adam
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jan 15, 2008 at 5:43 pm

Only 437 responded out of 60,000. But remember that about 50 to 60% are children and don't deal with the city that much except in the schools. So 437 of (estimated) 22,000 households is 1.9%. Most polls have a lower responding rate than that.

I'm going to recommend that the city spend some more postage and send the survey to at least 15% of the households. The additional cost and analysis would be about $1000 for postage and maybe up to $1500 in additional processing costs.

For all those dissatisfied with any aspect of the city, complain to the council by e-mail. It's cheap. Like the drip drip of a water torture, it will have an impression on the council member whether he/she responds or not.

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Nobu confirmed to open in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 20,346 views

And one more makes three
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 6,215 views

Secretary of Plate
By Laura Stec | 5 comments | 2,091 views

New York College Tours
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 3 comments | 1,039 views

Family Planning: Both Agree Before Getting Pregnant
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 669 views


Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 23 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $4 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.